Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years seemingly pass by with each Tick of the Clock

Time; they say that time flies when you’re having fun. Well, I am here to tell you that it flies either way! I take a breath and wonder, where did it go. It seems as if only yesterday, I was a young girl running barefoot through the fields around my father's home, and suddenly, today, I am an old woman. I have been busy writing. The 24th I published another e-book. It is called Annabelle’s Diary. She was who set me on this time exploration thought process. And, I wondered, do I write to keep from facing reality; the reality that I am growing older each minute and dread it consequences? The more I thought on it the more I rejected the notion. I write because they need me to. By them, I mean the characters. Each of them has a story to tell and it seems that I am the only one listening. Sometimes, they come to me and introduce themselves; at other times, I am drawn into their conversations and have to catch up! Take for instance the aforementioned Annabelle. She come to me one day and her story began with these simple words. “I was born the summer of Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Two on my father’s plantation near Savannah, Georgia. Birthed by the plantation midwife, Mary, who said I come so easy and quiet into this world that at first she feared me dead. Even after rousing me and washing me, she said I remained so. She and Mother both said I was a good baby; I never fussed unless wet or hungry. Even then, Mary said that I was quiet with my fussing.” She wasn’t pushy or loud. Her voice had a deep southern drawl and was a soothing as my grandmothers voice was. Immediately, that was who she became in my mind, my grandmother. Now, when I say that I hear them or they introduce themselves, I don’t mean that I hear a physical voice or that they appear before me; I’m not crazy, or at least I don’t think I am. What I hear is not in my ears, it is inside my mind… I have wondered if I were a channel - a means of communication - for these souls. Each has a unique voice and I can see them in my mind as clearly as I see anything in the physical world. The other day, I heard a young male character speaking; and, when I pay attention to him, he says “In easeful-death, I roamed; a soul lost to Damnation, doomed to roast in Purgatory forever and ever. I knew that dead, was what I was, and that Purgatory was where I was, because my father would always yell, ‘Damn your soul to Purgatory’ when he was mad at someone, and he was mad at me. The fear of his wrath was what had always kept me in line, but not this time; this time, I was willfully disobedient. Many a time, he had warned me that if he ever caught me fraternizing with those heathens in Tidewater Bayou, he would beat me within and inch of my life; and I had intentionally ignored his warning not to go to old Nanny Rue’s house in the bayou. Nanny Rue was an old black woman that told futures and mixed potions for folks who’d come seeking her advice or her assistance with personal matters. Even matters of the heart, health or in general they just needed to know something, and I needed to know about Jubal. Jubal Lafourche is my best friend in the whole world; he has been since we was in the first grade. No one knows where Jubal is. Neither his maw nor any of his twelve brothers and sisters either. And after having talked with his kin, I knowed for sure that something was wrong. They themselves even said that it wasn’t like Jubal to just disappear, especially like that, when we had made plans to go fishing.” When I heard his voice, I knew his name was Samuel LeBlanc, he lived in Louisiana and that he was born with one leg shorter than the other. I knew that Jubal Lafourche had one arm that was smaller and drawn up close to his body. I cannot wait to see where his story leads. Several months ago, I had a visit from a Southern Belle; another soul from Louisiana that wants her story told; her name is Desiree Evereld de Comte. She came to me and introduced herself this way: “I was born in a canebrake in the Bayous of Southern Louisiana during a pre-harvest burn; it was the fall of 1825. On the night I was born, another child died; we were born the same instant. She took only one small breath; I came out kicking and screaming. I must have known that my row would be a tough one to hoe. Mi mamán, Anasazi de Comte, was caught en el campo; she was spreading fire through the cane fields when her fluid broke. She said it spewed forth as a river that had broken through the levee and flooded the land with bloody water that sizzled and come to a boil before it soaked into the scorched, dry earth. I never was fond of the name, Desiree Evereld de Comte, but I was born with it, therefore, the name fused with my body at birth. Chosen by my mother, christened by the parish priest with my white mother and father in attendance, they were already looking ahead to the gala they would throw to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. Anasazi and Angelique exchanged knowing looks; if my birth had gone as intended I would have been auctioned off to the highest bidder upon my sixteenth birthday. Little did they know at that time that she had given birth to the future bride of Blanchard de La Fontaine, owner of the largest sugarcane plantation, west of N’awlins… Mamán give me that fancy name in hopes that one day I would live a better life than she had. Too bad, she could not see into the future, as Madame Laveau of the French Quarter did; if so, she might have choked the life out of me the moment I tore through the membrane that separated her body from mine. It would have saved her a world of hurt and humiliation. My birth mother was a high yellow, a Quadroon named Anasazi. She had three white grandparents and one colored grandparent. That is where the saying ‘There was a nigger in the woodpile’ originated from. No matter how many generations go by, you cannot breed it out; occasionally a Negro child will be born of white parents… Anasazi was not meant to be working the fields of a plantation; she was meant to be the mistress of a rich a white man of means, a Creole. Bred to placate men, she was to enter into placage when she turned sixteen. Placage is the marriage between a white man and a quadroon or an octoroon. Some mulattoes are allowed to enter into these marriages, if their skin is a shade that is light enough to be pleasing to the eye. However, it was not to be. Anasazi’s white father died, leaving her and her mother unprotected. Upon his death, his white wife sold her into slavery on her sixteenth birthday. This woman has a voice that is reminiscent of my cousin, Donald’s wife Anna, when she first comes from New Orleans… Anyhow, while they are talking I am listening and trying to write it all down. I know that in the end it will make perfect sense. I am having a little more trouble with my character Joshua Stokes and his latest mystery. Since I invented him, I try too hard to control what he says and does. Maybe I need to loosen the reins on him and just turn him loose ;)

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